Nintendo Shows Glimpse of Champion’s Ballad DLC Pack in Zelda Breath of the Wild

Earlier this month, Nintendo released the first DLC pack for the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. Titled the Master Trials, it contained a new harder Master Mode, the special Trial of the Sword bonus gauntlet and new pieces of armour among other things.

But while that was an interesting DLC pack, it’s not really the most important one. Oh no, that label can be applied to the Champion’s Ballad one due this winter. And guess what? Nintendo’s finally shown some footage of it!

So here it is. Here is your first glimpse at the Champion’s Ballad DLC for Breath of the Wild:

As you can see, it heavily focuses on Zelda as a main character, and involves visiting quite a few parts of Hyrule that you went to before. These areas include Gerudo Town and what appears to be part of the Hebra region, implying that the new storyline has the main characters travel all across Hyrule for the purposes of their mission.

And that’s not the only interesting thing. Oh no, do you notice something else that seems odd here? Like the shrine?

Yep, it’s active. But as you may know from playing Breath of the Wild, this wasn’t the case before the Calamity. 100 years ago, the towers weren’t active and hence the shrines never glowed or did anything interesting.

But they are here. So it seems like the DLC pack may be set during or after the main storyline, not as part of a prequel like many people were expecting.

It also won’t (contrary to other speculation) star Zelda or the champions as the main character. Oh sure, she plays a big role in the DLC pack, but she’s not the main protagonist. Instead, Link is the main hero like in the main game and prior DLC.

What’s more, it also won’t purely be dedicated to the new dungeon or storyline. Again, they’re a major part of it, but they’re not the whole thing.

Oh no, as Nintendo has shown here on Twitter, more armour sets will be added too. Like the blue shirt Link wore in the Wind Waker intro:

So yes, your armour selection will be expanded in this DLC pack. And this in turn makes the chances of another DLC pack afterwards even lower.

Why? Well at the moment, there is a maximum armour limit of 100 in your inventory. In other words, you cannot collect more than five pages worth of armour before any new stuff gets lost forever or made impossible to pick up.

However, we already have a maximum of 90 pieces of armour thanks to the in game gear, Amiibos and DLC.

As a result, unless Nintendo decides to overhaul the inventory system, there’s only room for one DLC pack’s worth of new armour in the inventory. This makes it likely that the Champion’s Ballad is the last pack for the game.

Still, that’s just my speculation on the matter. As for the DLC pack as a whole though, it looks good.

You’ve got some interesting extra clothing options, what appears to be a massive Hyrule spanning storyline… the works really.

Let’s just hope it lives up to expectations in the end, okay?

No, Glitches Don’t Make a Game ‘Broken’

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen an interesting trend occur online. Put simply, a lot of people have started to treat video game glitches like they’re a bad thing, and decided that their existence in a game is somehow proof the developer got lazy.

And this can be seen on my videos for games like Breath of the Wild. I’ve seen people call out the QA team for every instance where I managed to get Link to clip through a wall. I’ve seen others say that Nintendo is lazy due to allowing these bugs to get into the game. Heck, in some cases I’ve even seen joke comparisons to Sonic 06. As if the presence of these glitches in Breath of the Wild means its an obvious beta that was rushed out the door as quickly as possible.

People assume this stuff is possible only because Nintendo is competent:

However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Yes, it’s possible a game could be rushed out early. Or simply wasn’t tested properly for whatever reason. Something like Action 52 might be an example of that.

But a game isn’t necessarily bad (or broken) just because it has a lot of glitches.

There are a few key reasons for this. Reason 1 being that ambitious games will almost always have more glitches than unambitious ones.

Obviously there are a few exceptions here. Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is glitchier than Dream Team for instance. Despite being built on the same engine with a lot of recycled content.

But for the most part, an ambitious game will have more glitches than an unambitious one. Take Pokémon for example. The original games were ridiculously ambitious, and had to really struggle to fit all the content in a single Game Boy cart.

As a result, they’re packed with glitches. That’s because the way they were coded was optimised for size rather than error checking. They had to fit a lot of code onto small cartridges.

So to get it to fit, things were skipped. Checks were removed. Etc.

And the resulting games are perhaps some of the most glitch filled games in history, with everything from glitch Pokémon like Missingno to being able to wrong warp to the Elite Four or even rewrite the game’s programming on the fly.

However, that doesn’t make them bad. They’re amazingly fun games which set off a huge fad back in the 90s and maintain a steady fanbase even today. It’s just that due to how hard they tried and how many technical boundaries were pushed, glitches crept in.

What’s more, the same goes for all manner of other great games throughout history. Super Mario 64 (and its DS port) are littered with glitches, but that’s in part because of all the ground breaking ideas and tech they put into practice. No one had ever made a 3D platformer quite like Mario 64 before, and Nintendo themselves were learning as they went along. So again, glitches crept in.

The same goes for almost every Zelda game. It goes for Smash Bros Melee and Mario Kart. GoldenEye, Crash Bandicoot, the classic Sonic games, the classic Mega Man games… the list of great games filled with bugs goes on and on.

Yet it’s not just ambition you have to consider here.

It’s also plain old game testing limitations.

Put simply, no company can ever find all the bugs in a game. It’s impossible. Every piece of software in existence has more potential flaws and security problems than can ever be truly fixed.

And this is magnified up to eleven when the games are released to the public. Remember, Nintendo’s testing team is both limited in size and strapped for time. They don’t have months or years to test every minor wall and character interaction in the game. Nor do they have the unlimited time and resources to fix every little thing that might be found.

So while they do the best job possible, things will slip through the radar. Or they’ll be marked as ‘won’t fix’.

Then when you add however many million players into the mix (Breath of the Wild has sold about 3 million copies so far), those things will get found. There are simply more players looking for glitches (or just playing in ways unforeseen by the development team) than there were doing QA testing.

Let’s not forget how much free time gamers can have either. Again, remember that for Nintendo’s in house teams, quality assurance is a job. They have to move between one game and another every few weeks or so to make sure all of said games work well. They can’t test Breath of the Wild forever.

Players on the other hand… they can. They could spend eight hours a day looking for bugs in the game and do so for years. They could test every wall and object in the game. See how every character interaction goes.

Hence they’ll find more glitches. Look at Stryder 7x and Pannenkoek2012 for instance. They play almost nothing but Paper Mario and Super Mario 64 respectively.

So guess what? They find numerous bugs in these games.

And when speedrunning communities and glitch focused sites and YouTube channels (who like the ad revenue these glitch demonstration brings) are factored into the equation… well, a game is likely to be broken to all hell within weeks or months. It’s the same sort of situation as with computer cybersecurity. Microsoft might try to patch all the issues in Windows, but they can’t really compete with the hordes of security researchers, bored users and hackers trying to find said issues for their own personal gain.

So don’t worry too much about glitches in games. They’re bad if they cause problems, but for the most part they’re simply a fact of life that you cannot ever avoid. Every game has them, and every ambitious game will have them by the thousand.

They do not necessarily mean a game was poorly coded, not tested properly or tossed out the door by the development team.

Thank you.

There are no Game Overs in Super Mario Odyssey

Over the last few generations or so, extra lives have become increasingly meaningless in the Mario series. First the existence of save files meant a game over has nowhere near the effect it used to. Then games started giving all coins and extra lives like candy.

And now with the general difficulty of the series being lower than ever, the chances of you encountering a game over are slim to none. I mean, when was the last time you encountered the game over screen in New Super Mario Bros 2?

Or saw it in Super Mario 3D World?

If you’re like most players, the answer is likely never.

But now it seems Nintendo has realised this. Why? Because as the title suggests, Super Mario Odyssey has no game over screen at all. Here’s the tweet from the official Twitter account confirming it:

As well as my rough translation of the text:

If your health becomes 0 or you fall into a bottomless pit, you’ll lose 10 coins. However, no matter how many times you die, you’re never get a game over.

So yeah, it seems like the whole game over mechanic (and extra lives in general) are now a thing of the past.

It’s certainly a daring move for the Mario series.

Yet for the gaming world, it’s pretty much just bringing Mario up to date with gaming norms. Modern 2D platformers don’t have lives or game over screens. Nor do most 3D platformers from the end of the Nintendo 64 era onwards (Rare’s games only gave you a game over if you quit the game). And given how pointless game over screens are in collectathon games like this, it’s a wise move on Nintendo’s part in general.

But still, what do you think? Are you surprised Super Mario Odyssey won’t have a game over screen?
Or is something you expected given the more open nature of the game?

Post your thoughts here or on social media today!

Castlevania TV Show Intro and Footage Surfaces

Remember that Castlevania show we wrote about a while back? The one that Netflix was producing that would be some darker and edgier cartoon take on the franchise?

Well it seems we now have some actual footage of it. Yes, thanks to Sariel Dracool on YouTube, some footage from the show has made it online. Here’s the intro to it:

As well as some other clips from the series:

It actually does look really good to be honest. The art style is fluid and works perfectly for the series. The music is creepy and feels exactly like what you’d hear in the games.

And in general, the production values here are incredible. It’s certainly a massive jump from the catastrophe that was Captain N. Or perhaps those old Mario cartoons they released about two decades ago.

Honestly, it looks like the kind of show that may actually catch on with a wider audience. The kind that people who don’t have experience with the Castlevania franchise could enjoy on its own merits.

So yeah, good job Netflix. It seems you actually managed the impossible task of making a good TV show based on a video game.

Let’s hope you manage to market said show and make it a major success too.

Splatoon 2 Nintendo Direct Announced!

Over the last few months or so, it seems Nintendo Directs have become rather common again. We saw one for Fire Emblem in January. ARMS and Pokémon then got them in May and June. With Splatoon 2 actually being a secondary game featured in the former.

But it seems Splatoon 2 has now taken the headline role. Why? Because as the title suggests, Splatoon 2 is getting a Nintendo Direct soon as well! This Nintendo Direct will take place this Thursday at 3PM BST, and will cover various new features and content in the game.

Here’s the tweet about it from Nintendo UK:

As well as the corresponding equivalents from Nintendo of America:

And Nintendo’s Japanese HQ:

So what will be in it?

Well, it’s hard to say really. Extra modes or weapons seem like a given here, since they were featured in every other trailer and update for the game as well.

However, I’m personally thinking that the main single player may be the main focus here. That’s because despite us knowing about it for a while, it’s still quite vague about how the setup works. Yes Marie from the Squid Sisters is involved. And the setup for the mode seems to be based on a secret mission type concept.

But what exactly is the Octarians role in all of this? What are they planning that the Inklings have to stop?

I’m not sure, and I feel another update might clear this up a bit more.

Still, it’s all speculation really, and your guess for what the Direct includes is as good as mine. So hey, what do you think will be featured here? Will single player be a big focus again?
Or will the presentation talk more about multiplayer or online play?

Post your thoughts here or at the Gaming Latest forums today!